A new study has revealed that monkeys share humans' drinking habits.

Researchers on the Caribbean island of St Kitts studied 1,000 vervet monkeys and found they have similar tastes for drinking alcohol as humans do.

Indeed, there were four distinct types of drinker, the study found. Most of the monkeys were social drinkers, although others were regular or binge drinkers, or teetotallers, the Guardian reports.

The monkeys were not freely given alcohol by the researchers: they have learnt to steal it from local bars and sleeping tourists, the newspaper adds.

And when they are drunk, their behaviour is quite similar to that of drunken people.

The findings may offer an insight into why people become alcoholics, suggesting there could be genetic reasons rather than simply social factors involved.

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